Thursday, April 29, 2010

He Needed a Rock Today

Today was a difficult day for My Guy. My recent illness has not helped either. Add a full day of work for him. Which is usually 18 hours…and lots of traveling. And an early morning doctor’s appointment for me. The end result isn’t very good. Especially when we had to be up so early this morning. Oh ya, in case you don’t know, we’re not morning people either!

I couldn’t sleep. I’m completely convinced that my days and nights are completely confused again. Being on bed rest since Monday, I’ve slept whenever, for however long, I needed to. So just imagine why I can’t sleep. And I was up way before I should have been anyway.

I got on twitter. Not a single friend of mine was up. I still have to remember we’re on the east coast. My friends are all out west. I read some blogs. I even enter some contests. I answered some personal e-mails. Too bad I was completely caught up on work. I would have loved to have gotten lost in some charts and files. But I just knew, I couldn’t go back to bed. Because I needed to be awake. You know, to wake up My Guy. The man that sleeps through alarm clocks and phone calls.

Alas, I went back to bed. Because I was cold. It didn’t help that our fur babies came looking for me. And honestly, nothing is better than cuddling up with the person you love. My Guy, he was awake. But still in bed, eyes closed. And completely lost in his own thoughts. I could just tell. I could also tell that he was upset by something. I kind of knew what. But it was my turn to be his rock. I just knew, eventually, when he was ready, he would talk.

We laid there for what honestly felt like 10 minutes, but in reality was more like 2 hours. Ya, My Guy was having a difficult day. You see, it is his dad’s birthday. And unlike most of us, My Guy no longer has his dad. I know he misses him. There are lots of times when I know he would give anything, to just talk with his dad. Ask him just 1 more question. I understand. You see, I might only be 27 years old. But my dad is 77. And he’s lost most of his brothers and sisters in the last few years. There are many days when I just sit and wonder what in the world I’m going to do without my dad.

My Guy was 26 when he lost his dad. It hasn’t been an easy time for him. He’s struggled along the way. And from what I gather, mostly from his grandma, in the last few years he’s wanted more and more to talk to his dad. I can’t blame him. And I can understand. You know, this relationship, it’s the first really serious one for him. He’s really growing up. Could use a little bit of advice along the way. And I think he could use someone to talk to about all of this. Especially when my health becomes questionable.

But today was just a difficult day. 2 grumpy heads finally got up. I showered as he called a co-worker. And while he showered, I made breakfast. We went to the doctor. It was his turn to be the rock. And he did a good job of holding my hand and making me feel like I was going to be OK. We rushed home and he rushed to work. To an event he didn’t want to go to. His sister called to see how I was doing, and essentially asked me to go if I was feeling up to it.

Many people are starting to notice how we’re really each other’s rock. And I knew he needed me today. Even if it was “behind the scenes.” So I hitched a ride. And I was there. I just wanted for him to know that I was there. No matter what happened, I was always going to be there. Through the good and the bad, he could always depend on me.

The rest of the day was filled with a crazy amount of work. Mostly for him. Traveling for both of us. And just about 30 hours of work shoved into less than 24 hours. But that’s us. I made sure to make a nice dinner. I knew he would want something small and intimate. Because it had been a tough day. So nothing fancy. In fact, by the time he got back for dinner, I was in an old t-shirt of his and a pair of sweatpants.

Not every single day of our lives is glamorous. Not every day is filled with excitement. But every single day is filled with love. And support. We ended the day talking about My Guy’s dad. He told me story after story. Showing me a few of his favorite pictures. With well worn edges. You could tell they’ve been loved. And it was nice to see the peace come over My Guy’s face. Now he’s fast asleep. 2 fur babies at his feet. Preparing for a long day of work tomorrow. And I’m here. Processing our week. It’s been a rather emotional one. But I’m glad that I have a man to love, and who loves me back. ♥

Newly Wife Giveaway Day 5

So we have come to the end of the road. This is Day #5 of the Newly Wife giveaways. And this prize is just adorable! First of all, I have no clue how to cross-stitch. I remember years ago, while in the mountains, my mom would sit and do cross-stitching. I don't know, I never gave it a try. But I always liked the finished product. And I've never attempted to buy one of these little kits before either. This would be the perfect time to give it a try! So if you are interested in a new ipod case, some little cross-stitching sets, and a necklace, go to Newly Wife and enter this giveaway! ♥

Newly Wife Giveaway Day 4

Do you like to garden? I do! In fact, I've been planting a little garden for a few years now. When I lived in my house, I had these beautiful green lawns. Honestly, in the desert, that is strange. And let me tell you, hard to keep up! But I had them. And I expanded into adding flowers and bushes.

Then one day, while at Lowe's with my parents, I decided I wanted to try my hand at gardening. Nothing fancy. I bought a few tomato plants, a jalapeno plant, and some herbs. Up until this point, I had only grown mint. Which is not hard to do. :)

But my love of gardening grew. Eventually, I would tear up part of my lawn, and start a small garden. After lots of trial and error, I figured out what I could grow in the desert. And more importantly, when to plant. But, I moved. Across the country no less. To what My Guy calls, the BFE. We live in the middle of nowhere. But I love it!

I've continued to garden. Now I have someone to bounce ideas off of. Someone who is actually a real gardener. But I also have more wild animals to deal with. Nonetheless, I love to plant some seeds and wait with anticipation to see what grows. It's really amazing!

Do you see this little basket of goodies? Have you ever wanted to try a small garden? Maybe see if you have a green thumb or not...

The Newly Wife is hosting a giveaway for all these yummy goodies! Just about everything you will need to try and grow your 1st harvest. :)

Including my favorite part, the Gardening Apron!!! So head over to the Newly Wife and enter this giveaway. You have until tomorrow night. Good Luck! ♥

Mummysam Giveaway

You cannot tell me this isn't the cutest tape you've ever seen! Seriously, I could use 5 or 6 rolls. You know me and sending packages. Especially "brown paper packages tied up in string." :)

Mummysam is the creator of this cute tape. She also makes a variety of things, like prints and dolls. I just adore them! And, they're all hand drawn by Samantha! I wish I could draw. Heck, even scribble in a cute way. But I wasn't blessed with that gene.

If you would like a chance to win one of these cute rolls of tape and print, go to Cakies and enter this giveaway! You won't regret it! Also, go take a look at Mummysam's blog. So cute! ♥

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

My Mom

She just made my day! I hadn’t talked to her since Monday evening. I’ve been sick. And then my parents were really busy with some reviews for work. Yesterday when I called, my Dad was busy getting ready for this meeting that they had. And my Mom was still working. One of their employees has been MIA all week. So it was a quick 5 minute call.

Yes, I’m one of those people that call my parents every single day. Even if it’s a quick “Hi” and “Bye” conversation. I just like to check in on them. I never realized how much I’d miss them when I moved across the country. But let’s be honest here, even when I lived a few hundred miles away, I would still call every day.

My Mom was so excited when I called this evening. I caught them just as they were getting to a restaurant to have dinner. I could tell that she was tired. But she was so excited! So excited that we talked through their entire meal! I’m not lying. But what stuck out from our conversation most, was what she said. She answered the phone and said, “Hi Kid! I’ve missed you so much! It’s been forever since we’ve talked. I love you!” I seriously had to fight back the tears. I LOVE you too Mom!!! ♥

Newly Wife Giveaway Day 3

If you know anything about me, you know that I LOVE aprons! With all of my heart, I just adore them. And I also enjoy having kitchen goodies for the holidays. My Guy, he's learned this about me. The man that didn't have dishes when I met him, now owns kitchen towels for every season and holiday. :)

Anyway, I just adore this apron. Megan over at Newly Wife, made this apron out of a kitchen towel. Oh so cleaver! I just love it! Honestly, how could you not love those cute bunnies?

If you want to enter this giveaway for this apron, beanie, photobook, and towel, go to Newly Wife. Hurry up! Today is the last day to enter. ♥

Newly Wife Giveaway Day 2

Don't you just love this necklace? It reminds me of when I was in 3rd grade. When my best friend and I used to go to the mall with our parents. And we'd always head to the Sweet Factory. We never left the mall without a HUGE jaw breaker and a bunch of candy. :)

Remember how I told you that I love Happy Together? Yup, I was reading it and I saw this beautiful and fun necklace that Jessica made. That's how I learned about Newly Wife. This is the prize for Giveaway Day 2.

If you are interested in winning this cute necklace, go to Newly Wife and enter this giveaway. I'm crossing my fingers and my toes. I hope I win this necklace! Because I would love to wear it all Spring and Summer long! ♥

Newly Wife Giveaway Day 1

I absolutely adore the blog Happy Together. I check Jessica's blog every single day. Because she has some amazing ideas. And about a week ago, she blogged about a necklace that she was giving away on another blog. I kept saying that I was going to go look at it. But the last week has been so busy! I finally got around to it. And I am IN LOVE with Newly Wife.

Newly Wife is a blog, written by 2 cousins, who were recently married. I am just hooked on this blog. They share yummy recipes, decorating advise, adventures, cleaning, and some giveaways. Yup, lots of giveaways this week actually!

The first one is for this cute set of recipe cards and wine glass charms. I just love how they're handmade. You know me and handmade. If you are interested in this giveaway, go to Newly Wife for all the details. And hurry, the giveaway ends tonight at midnight. ♥

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Are You a "Saver" or a "Spender?"

Earlier this evening, a friend of mine called me. It had been a while since we’d talked. And to be honest, I was starting to think that maybe, this was just another one of those friendships. You know the kind. Somehow, one person is way more invested than the other. And I was feeling that that person was me. I would call and e-mail, never to get a response. But not today. Mayu called me.

Honestly, I was very excited. Because I had been stuck in bed all day. My Guy had to work. And there wasn’t anything too exciting going on for me. Other than me taking My Guy’s mom hostage at lunchtime. She brought me lunch and I made her stay and eat with me. Which turned into a 2 hour gab fest. Before she eventually went back to work. But me, I wasn’t doing much. Crocheting a blanket for my bestie’s baby. But that was it.

I could tell Mayu was stressed. She just gets this very different tone to her voice. And to be honest, she wasn’t much interested in me. Other than when I would be going for a visit. But I didn’t mind. Because I know, sometimes you just need to unload on a friend. You see, Mayu is working her first “real job.” And along with “real jobs,” comes growing up. For me, this all happened very quickly. When I was 18, I moved out. Completely on my own. And I was a proud owner of a new home. Well, not new. But new to me.

So all this stress that Mayu is going through, I’ve been there. Except, I grew up as a “saver.” Not a “spender.” When my birthday would come, I’d get mostly money as a gift. My dad would let me have $10-20, and the rest, we took to the bank. Christmas was the same way. I had my own savings account. Everything went into the bank. I’d pick up change everywhere we went. And I’d put the pennies in a 5-gallon jar. All the silver coins, they went in another. When they would fill up, we’d lug them to the bank. It was a good thing that my parents had business accounts there. And my dad’s good friend, was a manager at the bank. Because when I’d come, it was an easy 2 hour transaction. :)

But Mayu, she never had to work before this. She’s lived with her parents all her life. With a brief stint of living with an ex-boyfriend. Her parents have paid for everything she’s needed or wanted. She’s always had money available. Girl used to go to Europe, every summer to “study abroad.” So I’m thinking, she is much more of a spender. Carrying her designer purses and wearing her designer clothes.

Well, when the whole “recession” happened, to be honest, it hit me. But it didn’t hit too hard. Because let’s get real. I was already a poor college student, who owned a home. I was used to living off of $20 a month. Yes, you read that right. $20! I learned real quick that I could stretch out a case of Ramen to last a month. I would frequent the Dollar Tree for toilet paper, cleaning supplies, and shampoo. Honestly, the only thing I bought at Wal-Mart was Ramen and deodorant. It was tough. The only thing I dealt with when the recession hit, was a big hit to my scholarship money. Ya, very quickly, people stopped donating to the scholarship fund.

But it was OK. I was a saver. Remember? I work crazy hours. Doing just about anything and everything you could imagine. I cleaned houses for the doctors I worked with. I sang gigs. I cooked for Patrick and Brooke’s dinner parties. Whatever I could do to make money. And when I’d make a few thousand dollars from a gig, I was often tempted to go splurge a little. But I knew I couldn’t. I’d pay off my tuition, books, whatever else I needed for school. Then I’d tackle bills. Pay ahead on utilities. You know, they like that. And I’d pay ahead on my house. That’s how I got it paid off in 7½ years. Every penny I had, went to my house. I knew, I didn’t want to be paying on it for 30 something years. And I saved A LOT on interest fees. But it took lots and lots of sacrifices.

There were times that I wanted to go shopping at Target. Or to go out to eat with friends. But I had a goal. And I was raised as a saver. Not a spender. I’ll always be thankful to my parents for that. They taught me one of the most important lessons in life. To save your money, and to prepare for things. I still do this. For example, I buy Christmas presents in May. And I start saving for Mother’s Day in February. I stock up on pantry staples when they’re at the cheapest price. And I clip coupons. I also set limits for how much I’ll spend on an item.

My friend, she lacks all of this. If she wants that Chanel lipgloss, she’s going to get it. No matter if she has 20 at home, that are only one shade away in color. I’ve seen her buy pens, just to buy them. Or to spend countless dollars on Starbuck’s coffee. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t do these things. But you have to budget for them. You also have to see them as treats. You know, “once in a while” items.

But when Mayu started to tell me that she was spending something like $800 of her paycheck between her birthday and Mother’s Day, I about died! $250 on groceries for 1 meal! Do you know what I could do with $250? Even now, when I don’t have to worry so much about money, I could never spend $250 on a single birthday dinner. She can’t afford it, but she spent $150 on a perfume. I know it’s a gift for her mom. But seriously, that is insane! The woman was about in tears because her entire check was going to 2 dinners and a Mother’s Day gift. And I was speechless! My mouth hung open so wide, you could’ve driven a semi through there. No lie!

Yes, I would LOVE to spoil my mom on Mother’s Day. In fact, this year, my mom’s birthday is 3 days after Mother’s Day. I would LOVE to go buy her some expensive perfume, some new garden supplies, and a few flats of flowers. But it’s just unrealistic right now. I’ve got doctor’s bills. And in the end, I’m making her some gifts. I bought her a sweet card. And I’ll probably go visit her for a day between these 2 big events. I’ll make dinner for her and a cake. Most of all, we’ll appreciate the time we spend together.

This leads me to wonder, am I a cheapskate? Or is it acceptable to cut corners and save, but still have a nice day together. In my book, I’d rather have the time together than the big gifts. But that’s me. Am I crazy to think that $800 for 2 dinners and gift is too much? Honestly, I’ll probably spend $50 on all the gifts I give my mom. These are for her birthday and Mother’s Day. And I’ve budgeted around $50 for dinner, a cake, and ice cream. It would be less, but there is an extra family member this year.

It leads me to wonder, once you’re a saver, can you ever become a spender? Or once you’re a spender, can you ever become a saver? I’ve always used cash to deal with. I don’t believe in credit cards. I think cash is the only way to go. I don’t borrow money. Unless you count me borrowing from J, to pay my tuition and books. But he’d always be paid before the semester was over. I do save money in envelopes. I have one right now, marked “Mom.” Inside sits $76. I bought some supplies for her gifts on Monday.

But that’s me. I’m a saver. I use envelopes. I save all my $5 bills. And all of my change. I believe in the reward system for myself. And I never buy makeup when it’s not on-sale. I allow myself so much money to spend on clothes for each season. I always completely pay off bills, as quickly as possible. And I balance my check book to the penny. So are you a saver or a spender? ♥

Monday, April 26, 2010

Strawberry Angel Cake

If you don't know it yet, I'm in LOVE with strawberries. I'll eat them straight off the plants. I like them mixed with some other berries. Frozen. Macerated with whipped cream. They're good in pies. Honestly, any which way that you give them to me, I'll eat them!

Like I've said before, Gooseberry Patch is a great place to sign up for free recipes and tips. This week, the recipe is for a Strawberry Angel Cake. Yummy! I think I'm going to make it today. We're going to My Guy's Grandma's house for dinner. I'm sure she would also enjoy it!

I'm going to "tweek" the recipe a bit though. I'm going to bake an Angel Food Cake. It makes me feel less guilty about eat 3 servings! :) And I'm going to make some macerated berries, instead of using the strawberry ice cream topping. To me, it just makes it a bit more healthy. You know, anything that makes me feel less guilty about eating a few servings!

Strawberry Angel Cake
Submitted by: Lisa Johnson from Hallsville, Texas

16-oz. baked angel food cake
2 c. whipping cream
2/3 c. strawberry ice cream topping
2 pts. strawberries, hulled and halved

Slice cake horizontally into 4 layers; set aside. In a chilled bowl with an electric mixer on high speed, beat whipping cream and topping until stiff peaks form. Place bottom layer of cake on a cake plate; frost with a 1/2-inch layer of whipped cream mixture. Repeat with remaining cake layers. Frost entire cake with remaining whipped cream mixture, making sure to cover top and sides of cake. Arrange berries over top and sides, pressing firmly into whipped cream. Serve immediately or keep chilled up to 8 hours. Makes 10 servings.

I hope you enjoy this recipe. It really does sound yummy! No matter if you're following the recipe to a T, or if you're like me. I generally use recipes as inspiration. Or as guide. Don't forget to sign up for the great e-mails from Gooseberry Patch! ♥

Sunday, April 25, 2010


Let me start out with, we're alive! No tornadoes have hit around here. Thank my Dear Lord! Because My Guy and I honestly considered going home Friday night, when we heard there would be tornadoes around here yesterday. My prayers go out to all the victims of the tornadoes. Because not more than 60 miles from here, they did hit.

But yesterday, My Guy had to do some work. Nothing major, but some work. He was clearly done by the afternoon. And we were a little bored. Never mind that the heavens had opened up and it was pouring on us! Literally, everything around us had flooded. But you know, we were bored. There was no cell phone reception, no internet, no satellite TV. In My Guy's words, "It might as well be Little House on the Prairie." :)

So we decided to make a trip to Target. Let's just say, none of the stores were even remotely close to us. But you know us. We put on some warm clothes and hopped in the car. Call us crazy! With a capital C. It was pouring. And we were venturing to Target.

At one point, I wanted to cry. I really thought I was going to meet my Maker. It's a good thing that My Guy is such a good driver. Who knows what would have happened otherwise. But we made it. A trip that should have been 30 minutes, was more like 90 minutes. But we made it. And we were safe.

You're probably wondering why this post is called Flamingos. Well, once inside, I just had to hit the Dollar Spot. Don't you just love it? I do! There are so many fun things there! Even when I worked at Target, it was my favorite area. :)

And in the Dollar Spot, I found some cute Flamingos. Yes, the plastic kind you put in your yard. I couldn't walk away! Oh no I couldn't. They were $2.50 a piece. And I had my heart set on 2. Somehow, we walked out with 12. :) I can't wait to get home today. My Guy and I already know where we're going to put them. Yup, right around the pool. In between all the tropical plants and trees. Go us!

But here is a little background on my LOVE for flamingos...

When I was a little girl, I LOVED going to our local zoo. In my opinion, it's one of the best in the country. And they have Flamingos. Right as you walk in. I would stand there and watch these beautiful birds. Standing on one leg. And I would stand there, on one leg, watching.

Maybe it was their gorgeous pink feathers. Or maybe not. Since, as a kid, I didn't like pink. But I LOVED Flamingos. They just seemed so magical to me.

I also LOVED how when 2 Flamingos stood by each other, their necks made a cute little heart. Every single time I see something with a Flamingo, I just have to get it. It reminds me of the days when I would sit and watch the pretty pink birds as a little girl. I even have some Flamingo Christmas tree ornaments! I'm just glad that My Guy embraces my love as well. ♥

Saturday, April 24, 2010


Well, we’re in the middle of what they’re calling “severe weather.” Internet access is hit and miss. Heck, we’re just trying to stay safe. Tornadoes are in the area. So I’m going to make this short and sweet. I hope you enjoy!

When I was in the AYS program, The Plants is one of my favorite pieces that we played. More specifically, Mars. Can you tell that I’m an Aries? It just fit. After all, Mars is the “Bringer of War.” If you ever have the chance to hear The Planets by Gustav Holst live, go. You won’t regret it!

I’m leaving you with a YouTube video that I found. I hope you like Mars as much as I do. It just makes me miss symphonic playing so much! But there are so many good memories tied to this piece. I just wish I could either play it again, or see it live. :) ♥

Friday, April 23, 2010

Broken Plate Necklace Giveaway

Would you love to win this necklace? Head over to The Rikrak Studio. There is a giveaway going on right now for this necklace. I just love it! I love the fact that someone out there is making gorgeous art out of old dishes. :)

There are so many beautiful pieces at The Broken Plate's Etsy Shop. I would highly recommend going to look at the shop. And of course, entering the giveaway. Good Luck! ♥

Personalized Look Book Giveaway

I don't know how many of you are like me. But I like clothes. OK, I LOVE clothes! I sit and look at different websites, and I dream about the different stuff you find on each one. One of my favorites is Anthropologie. If I ever win the lottery, I'm going to become a frequent shopper. I just love everything they offer. Including the wonderful and whimsical beds. :)

But right now, at Tatertots and Jello, they are offering up the chance to win a Personalized Look Book. Reachel is a personal shopper for Anthropologie. Yes, my favorite store! And she is offering to do a Personal Look Book for you! She also has a wonderful blog, Cardigan Empire.

What a treat! That's like having a personal shopper with you every single time you shop! Could you imagine the hours it could save you? To know ahead of time what types of clothing looks best on you. You can save so much money! You know, leave that clearance item and save your money for something that is really going to look nice on you. And think about the time it will save you.

So if you're interested, go to Tatertots and Jello. Hurry and enter! The giveaway ends tonight. Good luck to everyone who enters! ♥

Thursday, April 22, 2010

French Glamour

I was a little bored this afternoon. And I was doing a search for aprons. I just adore them! Honestly, I wish I could buy 20 right now! And I'm not lying. I have so many saved on my favorites. My Guy was using my computer last week and asked why I had so many bookmarked. I had no good explanation. Just that I like them. :)

Anyway, I found this one a little while ago. It's called French Glamour. And it comes with this cute matching towel. But the price is a little much. $43.95 plus shipping. There are so many days that I wish I could win the lottery. just so I could buy fun things like this without feeling guilty. But oh well.

I can still dream. Just don't tell My Guy. I might come home and find those 20 aprons hanging up in our kitchen. Not that I'd complain. But seriously, I don't really need them all! I just hope I get this one for Christmas this year. Because who wouldn't want to look chic in their very own black and white apron, while making some yummy biscuits? ♥

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Cinnamon Sticks Giveaway

Cakies is hosting a giveaway for Cinnamon Sticks. This happens to be one of my favorite Etsy shops. And the giveaway is for $50 to spend in Cinnamon Sticks. That can get you something really nice in Cinnamon Sticks. This open heart necklace happens to be my favorite item in the shop. You should definitely go and enter for your chance to win this giveaway. ♥

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Bellasymphony Giveaway

Cakies is hosting a giveaway for Bellasymphony. This is a company that specializes in the cutest little girl items and patterns. Everything from tutus to shoes to burp clothes. They have amazing deals on patterns. And Bellasymphony also sells finished products. The pattern for these Mary Janes are my absolute favorite. So if you're interesting in winning one of Bellasymphony's knotty tutus or a 10 e-book, head over to Cakies and enter the giveaway. ♥

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Dove Truffle Eggs

I’m a HUGE chocolate fan. Everyone that knows me, knows that. It’s not a statement or a promise, it’s a fact. And Dove Truffle eggs are some of my favorite delights. I had my first one as a freshman in high school. My cheerleading coach brought them into a practice…after Easter. She had found a few boxes on clearance. And I was instantly an addict!

That year, I had half of a Dove Truffle Egg. In years to follow, I would run to the store the day after Valentine’s Day. Just in search of these gems. I do have to say, they’re getting harder and harder to find. In fact, I only found 1 box today. And I went to 5 stores!

Today, I’m on my own. My Guy has his nieces. They decided to go do something fun. Probably something having to do with animals, eating of lots of ice cream, and My Guy having to buys a few Barbies for them. :) But it’s all in good fun. They don’t get to spend a lot of time with their uncle. So today was a nice excuse.

As for me, I’m trying to keep my mind of off missing my bestie. And I’m trying to get the girls’ Easter baskets together. Which meant lots of shopping and candy! I couldn’t resist my favorite chocolate confections. And I grabbed the last box. I hope you get to have a couple this year! Dove really needs to add a similar product to their permanent product line. ♥